Hello esteemed readers, welcome back.
I will be delving back to the Efik Dishes in today’s article. Sit back and relax while i take you down to it.
Efik dishes are mainly foods from the rivers that characterize their very existence. All Efik clans and sub-clans are located by river banks or creeks and so their nutritional culture derives from the seas. Their source of protein is mainly from the fish though most times from meat captured both from waters and forests. The fish sources range from shelled fishes of all kinds including periwinkles, mussels, oysters and clams; crustaceans like shrimps, lobsters and prawns, to a variety of species of fish like catfish, flatfish, scaled fish and the like
This soup is a creation of a fisherman (Oko Iyak) in the creeks. Ine is a shack where the fishermen stay while on their fishing expedition. These men could leave their homes for several weeks at a time. They usually stay to smoke some of the fish and shrimps in preparation for the market. Out there, they survive on sea food.
Though it does not really matter the kind of fish you use, be it cat fish, crocker or so as long as it is fresh fish. Like mine I used the Shinny nose type of fish (Edeng). This is the king of all fishes (Obong Iyak) for we Efiks. according to some, this fish was eaten by the affluent back in the day. It was expensive and very scarce unlike the cat fish (Inanga) that was a staple in most houses. Edeng is still expensive and usually sells out fast. My mom grand mom spent most of her at the beach (Esuk) in the village when some fishermen docked with the day’s catch. She would buy some and bring back home each time I go visiting she would then prepare this soup for all to eat. The price usually doubles at the fish market in Calabar.
i. Shrimp (Ndek Obu)
ii. Shinny Nose Fish (Edeng)
iii. Clams (Nkob)
iv. Fresh Pepper (Ndek Ntokon)
v. Onions (Oyim)
vi. Fresh Curry Leaf (Iko)
vii. Water for steaming and cooking (Mmong)
viii. Crab (Nkongo)
ix. Perewinkle (Usosioho Mfi)
1. Cut the fish in medium size, ensure to remove the fins and the gills, after that wash it with clean water before using hot or warm water to wash it thoroughly and rinse with clean water before adding it to a clean sauce pan.
2. Finely clean up the shrimp and clams for free eating, wash and add in the sauce pan of the fish then season with pepper, onions, salt, after that steam for about 5minutes. After that remove from heat. Separate the broth and set aside.
3. Heat the palm oil for about a minute or less, add the fish into the hot oil, add more pepper, clams and shrimps, then add the broth and allow to simmer for 5minutes.
4. If the broth is not enough add some more water or little water depending on the quantity you need. Taste to know if the seasonings are enough, if they are not add more pepper and salt to taste. But if the taste is ok allow it. After this, add a stem of Iko (fresh curry) for the aroma. Iko is fantastic aroma for sea food dishes.
You don’t need too much water in this soup. The idea is for the person eating it to be able to grab chunks of fish and other sea foods for every ball of eba. that is the only way you can enjoy it.
Efere Ine is simple to prepare. You basically just need fresh fish, palmoil and your spices. Or you can throw in whatever seafood that you fancy.
Happy new month all. see you next week.